Are we nearly there?

I enjoyed yesterday’s show-and-tell by the eLearning Network with the winners of some of the Elearning Awards showing what they’d done and, more important, the stories behind the projects.

I found each one inspiring, whether it was for the strategy behind the project, the graphics, the learning design or the production of excellent material in a very short time. And none of them felt ‘impossible’ – these were all pieces of work we could all aspire to.

Several people I spoke to remarked how nice it was that we didn’t see a single thing you’d call ‘traditional’ elearning – slides with a ‘next’ button.

We saw portals with just in time resources, some of which were structured into a course; we saw videos – lots of videos – and a business simulation game that took scenarios built in a traditional authoring tool to a new level of realism, and a good balance of short tutorials and just-in-time resources. I think ’70-20-10′ was mentioned only once, and in this context it made sense (unlike the Learning Tech exhibition in February when it seemed there was a product placement stipulation in every presentation.)  Little talk either of LMSs or SCORM.  Some of this material wasn’t even tracking. Some was designed for groups to use as a discussion tool, others to be used in the most difficult of physical environments.  And it’s a powerful message for learning effectiveness when, as in once case, it’s measured in terms of lives saved.

In each case the judges made a convincing case for the projects to merit their awards, and it was clear why they had won.

there thereSadly, however, on the way to the pub after the event, one designer took a call from a client stipulating – apparently after weeks of negotiation – exactly which bullet points HAD to be presented to every learner, who had to be given time to read them before the ‘next’ button could be enabled. Collective groan from everyone in the car!

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